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Raiders OTA notebook

Some news, notes and observations from the Raiders’ minicamp practice Wednesday:

– JaMarcus Russell is gone, and if Tom Cable has his way, will be forgotten as well.

After a few perfunctory answers about the former No. 1 overall draft pick, with Cable stressing the need to move forward, the coach said, “Let’s not talk about someone who is not on our team anymore. It’s done, it’s over and we have to move forward.”

Jason Campbell, the trade acquisition who is expected to be the Raiders No. 1 quarterback, said he gave Russell words of encouragement.

“We had a lot of conversations,” Campbell said. “I told him there are things that happen in professional sports that are out of our control and the only thing you can do is move forward and not let anything get you down. Like I told him, he’s still young in his career. I think the thing he has to do in the summer is put in the work and then when his opportunity comes again just do your best.”

Put in the work. With Russell, it always comes down to those four words.

– The passing game struggled quite a bit on a day heavy with blitz packages and red zone sessions. With pass rushers coming free and a compacted field, Campbell, Charlie Frye and Kyle Boller all made some poor decisions under pressure.

Considering there is a new offensive coordinator in Hue Jackson, quarterbacks in Campbell and Boller who are getting used to new teammate, there was an acceptable margin of error in the mind of Cable.

“We’re going to try and have as much blitz pressure as we can,” Cable said. “I like what I saw, they’re going to get there a couple of times, but as they get more comfortable with what they’re doing we’ll pick it up and throw it better.”

– Whether the margin of error was acceptable for Jackson is another matter, because it doesn’t sound as if the Raiders have any intention of making him available to the media before training camp.

Jackson may be muzzled following practice where the media is concerned, but he is the dominant voice during practice, exhorting the offense to play at a faster tempo. He pushes, prods, criticizes and agitates.

“He’s very energetic. He talks a lot of smack,” Campbell said. “That’s his whole goal during practice is to make someone mad on defense. It excites everyone around us. There’s not going to be a quiet practice here, I know. As long as he’s here, it’s going to be rowdy.”

Said quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, sidelined until training camp after pectoral surgery but attending practices and meetings: “I love the way he gets after it. He’s discplined, he’s hard-nosed and he’s going to get after the guys. That’s what we need.”

– Jackson’s changes in the offense appear to have been substantial. Cable said Boller “had some of this offense before,” referring to a year the quarterback spent in Baltimore on injured reserve while Jackson was the quarterbacks coach for the Ravens.

That would indicate the Raiders are adapting to Jackson and some major changes, rather than Jackson putting a spin on what Cable did the last two years.

– Rookie defensive end Lamarr Houston and offensive lineman Bruce Campbell, as well as free agent defensive end Alex Daniels, had school issues and could not attend practice. Houston and Campbell, Cable said, were expected Wednesday night.

– Veterans who didn’t practice were Gradkowski, wide receiver Chaz Schilens and defensive end Matt Shaughnessy, who sustained a hamstring strain during Tuesday’s practice. Schilens is expected to be out until training camp after follow-up surgery on his left foot.

Nick Miller, who spent last season as a spectator on the 53-man roster for 15 games before going on injured reserve with a broken shin bone, was on the field and practicing with the offense Wednesday.

Gradkowski is out of the sling he wore on his left arm following pectoral surgery and said, “I’ll be ready to go full go by camp, no question, maybe before then.”

– One conversion project the Raiders will never attempt _ Chris Johnson to wide receiver. He dropped three potential interceptions Wednesday, drawing derisive chatter from safety Tyvon Branch at one point.

– Offensive linemen did some switching of positions, with Khalif Barnes again getting a lot of time at left guard. Rookie tackle Jared Veldheer even played briefly at center.

“It’s really just moving some pieces around, trying to expose them to as much as we can,” Cable said.

– Cable’s update on contract talks with defensive lineman Richard Seymour: “Still working, still working.”

Any chance Seymour will be around for any of the OTAs before training camp?

“I don’t know that at this point,” Cable said.

That’s a little less optimistic than the minicamp declaration that the two sides appeared to be near an agreement on a new contract.

Seymour has not signed the exclusive franchise tender which will pay him just under $12.4 million this season. If a long-term deal is not worked out, Seymour could leave the tender unsigned deep into training camp, as Charles Woodson did, or sign it and be in camp on time as Nnamdi Asomugha did.

– Cable, an avid Boston Celtics and New York Yankees fan, is more than a little pleased at Boston’s 2-0 lead over Orlando in the NBA playoffs.

“It’ll be a Celtics-Yankees-Raiders year,” Cable said. “It’s starting to look like it. You never know . . . ”

Some practice updates can be found on my Twitter page.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Random Drug Tester

    that was a salvo, or range-finder….either way still embarrassing as h3ll.

  • Random Drug Tester

    Thankfully, Russell is gone, and as a freebie thrown in by the football gods…so is REALMADDENRAIDER

  • Nnamdi21

    Random Drug Tester Says:
    May 19th, 2010 at 8:04 pm
    C’mon Nnamdi21…Russell made the whole team worse…that is why he was pulled, not for any particular play.

    =======

    Agreed. Glad he’s gone. Beyond me how anyone could NOT appreicate and work for something so many would kill for.

  • buckeyeraider

    One guy I can’t wait to see in preseason is Bruce Campbell at RG. I get the feeling the general concensus on here is that the guy is just a workout warrior/combine marvel and is not legit.
    This guy could be a steal in the 4th. I know those youtube highlights can be somewhat deceiving, but that guy is a freak. Even Mike Mayock, whose opinion most seem to approve of, had him as a top 5 OT prospect. He might be raw and need some work on his technique. Coach him up Cable. Desperately need an upgrade for aging Cooper Carlisle.

    I cannot wait to see this huge, freakish athlete pulling and leading DMac on a sweep.
    Campbell at RG and Big Langston at RT. Get that ground game back on track.

  • lefty12

    Nnamdi,the reason we won that game is the Def. kept us in the game because in reality,KC was worse than we were.Any QB on our team could have won that game and wouldn’t have required a 4th qtr comeback to do so.Actually,we should have been so far ahead the 4th qtr shouldn’t have mattered!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nnamdi21

    Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    May 19th, 2010 at 8:05 pm
    Random Drug Tester Says:
    May 19th, 2010 at 7:58 pm
    It’s like recovering your own fumble….it’s still a fumble.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Or kicking a 76 yard FG that would have been good from 65.

    ================

    remmber that Denver game where Shanny intorduced the last second time out?

    Sea bass’s kick that missed hit the TOP of the goal post from FIFTY TWO YARDS OUT!!!

    I wish they would calculate how far that kick would’ve been.

    Insanity…

    Too bad it was no good!

  • fat kidd

    RealMaddenTraitor was wrong about lane kiffen and cant show himself here anymore

  • Nnamdi21

    buckeyeraider Says:
    May 19th, 2010 at 8:10 pm
    One guy I can’t wait to see in preseason is Bruce Campbell at RG. I get the feeling the general concensus on here is that the guy is just a workout warrior/combine marvel and is not legit.
    This guy could be a steal in the 4th. I know those youtube highlights can be somewhat deceiving, but that guy is a freak. Even Mike Mayock, whose opinion most seem to approve of, had him as a top 5 OT prospect. He might be raw and need some work on his technique. Coach him up Cable. Desperately need an upgrade for aging Cooper Carlisle.

    I cannot wait to see this huge, freakish athlete pulling and leading DMac on a sweep.
    Campbell at RG and Big Langston at RT. Get that ground game back on track.

    ==========================

    I can see moving him inside on some packages like jumbo goal line ect, but run blocking is NOT his strong suit and moving him into a phone booth negates one of his best assets, his 36 1/4 wing span.

    Bruce Campbell

    “Run blocking: Locks onto his man after firing off the snap. Seals the edge well and can turn his man out of the hole. Lunges as a power drive blocker, however, often losing his balance and missing his target. A work in progress in this area.

    Pulling/trapping: Mobile enough to get out in front of quick screens and off-tackle runs. Must improve his effectiveness as a cut blocker, often failing to even reach the ground. Throws his body towards a defender instead of locking on and sustaining.

    Initial Quickness: Run blocks and pass protects out of a three-point stance. Fair quickness off the snap, generally getting a good angle on his kick slide and initial pop on run blocks. He will get off late at times and not get set, allowing his man to get him on skates.

    Downfield: Agile enough to get into space, and knows how to get the correct angle at the second level. Tough to get away from once latched on, but has trouble adjusting to safeties and linebackers because they get by him with quickness. Could hustle a bit more to reach a second target.

    Intangibles: Adequate competitor who will put a defender on the ground when possible, but scouts have questions about durability and intelligence. Only started 17 games before leaving school. Dealt with injury issues as a senior.”

    I’m hoping he and Veldheer can contribute right way though. The line and DMAC could use them!

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Once and for all, can we now agree that JaWalrus NEVER HAPPENED.

    I’m bent.

    Lakers up 11.

  • Nnamdi21

    Peace owt, enjoy the night!

  • buckeyeraider

    Nnamdi,Lefty,
    Mercifully, the brief Jamarcus era or debacle is over. It’s time to move on. I pulled for the guy to succeed as much as anyone. But no matter how much I wanted it, or BHP, or anybody else wanted it, HE didn’t want it bad enough. And that’s sad. He’s not a Raider anymore, so to hell with him.
    There is a fresh air of optimism around the silver and black. They’re even getting positive press from the nat’l media. Instead of the usual mocking derision. Nice piece on NFLN tonight.
    As Dylan once said, The times, they are a-changing.
    This season can’t get here soon enough.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    For all you anti-big man in the middle get run over types….we should all remember that Al Davis originally wanted to trade for Vince Wilfork..not Richard Seymour.

    What a shame. Seymour is going to look to break the bank and he’s not worth breaking the bank….he’s too old. and doesn’t want to be here.

  • buckeyeraider

    ‘night fellas.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Yawwwn on Bruce Campbell…Just because he had a fast 40x doesn’t mean jack. I think he falls to like the 6th round.

    Stll don’t care for the pick because his whole game is combine stuff. Just happy we wasted a 4th rounder instead of a 1st rounder

    Just had to have that guy…..

  • lefty12

    Buckeye,I totally agree.He is gone,it is time to move on.However,I will admit it irks me when it is brought up how he generated these comebacks.If the guy hadn’t been so horrible for most of the earlier parts of those games,the comebacks wouldn’t have been necessary and that seems to be overlooked by those that supported the useless piece of human waste.

  • Gust372

    RMR is banned, fat kid. Oh well. Must have been something he said.

  • Gust372

    And how was RMR wrong about Kiffin? Kiffin did nothing but try to win when he was here. You can’t win in Oakland without clearing out Al’s dead wood. That’s all he was trying to do. I’ll take a coach who’s trying to win over one who just comes in, does what Al says, loses, of course, then gets scapegoated anyway.

  • fat kidd

    do the raiders plan any donations too the jamarcus russell foundation

  • fat kidd

    lane kiffen was proven to be a liar

  • fat kidd

    if you lie to al you get run out of town

  • Gust372

    And Kiffin nailed it in that Real Sports interview when asked about Al, about the law of averaged and what happens with every coach in Oakland. Bottom line is that Kiffin could be the biggest traitor in sports, Al Davis will never, ever be a credible character witness when it comes to coaches being disloyal. Al’s track record starts in Tennessee. Nobody blames him for what happened in Oakland, not even most of the players on the Raiders at that time.

  • Gust372

    Let me try that again, a little tired…

    And Kiffin nailed it in that Real Sports interview when asked about Al, about the law of averages and what happens with every coach in Oakland. Bottom line is that Kiffin could be the biggest traitor in sports, Al Davis will never, ever be a credible character witness when it comes to coaches being disloyal. Kiffin’s track record starts in Tennessee. Nobody blames him for what happened in Oakland, not even most of the players on the Raiders at that time.

  • fat kidd

    lane kiffin shouldnt be a head coach maybe a off. cord. at best

  • fat kidd

    i dont know any coach that drags his father from team to team with him accept kiffin

  • Gust372

    According to whose standards, fat kidd? I mean, when it comes to competitive NFL teams, yes, Kiffin is no better than an OC. But we’re talking about the Raiders. Kiffin is a far cry better than anything we’ve had in recent years. Bottom line is he had the gall to step up and clean out Al’s dead wood, Gruden style. That is requirement number one for any coach who plans to succeed here. You’ve got to have a Napolean complex coaching in Oakland. You come here to take orders from Al, you lose and get scapegoated anyway. No win situation.

  • Gust372

    That’s because you don’t know any coach whose father is as good of a defensive coordinator as Monte Kiffin is. Monte has been mentioned amongst the best DCs in history! If your father is one of the best defensive minds in the game, why not drag him along with you? Your job as an offensive minded Head Coach is to bring in the best defensive coordinator you can get. If it happens to be your dad, why not exploit that advantage? Makes sense to me.

    And to think…we had a chance to have Monte Kiffin right here in Oakland. Al had other plans. How’s it worked out?

  • RaiderRon

    Al Davis hired him as a head coach, the U of Tennessee hired him as head coach and USC hired him as head coach. But some freakn moron on a message board forum says he aint a HC. Hmmm…….

  • fat kidd

    al davis fired him as a head coach, u. of tenn.fired him as a head coach,and if he dont win the national champ. in usc its goodbye lane again

  • Gust372

    Well, Ron, to give Fat Kid the benefit of the doubt, Kiffin is wet behind the ears and even a lot of well respected people in the sports media, noted Raider haters who you think would take Kiffin’s side just to spite Al, have said as well that they can’t believe the opportunities afforded to Kiffin when he really hasn’t accomplished anything. I think a lot of it does have to do with his dad. So, far as him dragging his daddy with him, so to speak, you have to wonder if that was part of an under the table deal with both Tennessee and USC. That being said, Kiffin was still good for us. It’s different with the Raiders, because no pro sports team is owned by anyone as crazy as Al Davis. You need an arrogant power monger to offset him, and if it comes disguised as a junior apprentice coach pretending he wants to “learn” from Al (lol), so be it.

  • Gust372

    Tenn. didn’t fire him, fat kid. He quit. Remember?

  • fat kidd

    Gust372 Says:
    May 19th, 2010 at 9:23 pm
    Tenn. didn’t fire him, fat kid. He quit. Remember?

    ……….nixon resigned as president cause of watergate didnt mean he didnt do it ,kiffen was about to be fired cause of recruiting violations

  • Gust372

    Frankly I don’t like what Kiffin did to Tennessee, but I have to admit, I’d love to see him win because I know it would make Al and his loyalists squirm. Al Davis deserves to get shown up by his former coaches, considering how he treats them. As long as they don’t play the Raiders, I always root for them. So I have to root for USC now. But if Kiffin had never had the ordeal with Al, I’d be rooting against him for what he did to Tennessee, too. Tennessee didn’t deserve to get jilted like that. Al? There’s nothing bad Al doesn’t deserve. His karma is darker than mold in a sewer.

  • Gust372

    If you say so, fat kidd. Tennessee seems pretty bitter at him for leaving. They’re not acting they were going to get rid of him anyway. In fact, I’ve only heard your theory from Raider people. I think it’s another one of those things that came from your guys’ vivid imaginations. Kiffin jilted Tennessee, he wasn’t fired, and wasn’t going to be.

  • fat kidd

    yes he was giong to be fired tennesee let him quit so they didnt have to finish paying his contract,the tennessee fans are upset but not the university president

  • Gust372

    fat kidd, the university was livid at Kiffin. You’re reaching. I know you Davis guys are compassionate and you’ll make his detractors look bad at all costs, but this crack pot theory’s not flying. This is almost as desperate as whopper about Marcus fooling around with Al’s daughter or niece of whatever. Sometimes Al’s wrong and his detractors are right, fat kidd. In fact, that’s the case most of the time. The only force really set out to destroy Al is his own ego.

  • fat kidd

    Dr. Jan Simek became interim president of the University of Tennessee in 2009
    eileen simek his daughter told my son who attended the university that kiffin was told he better take the usc job cause he has no future at tennessee

  • fat kidd

    Jamarcus russell was cut,his contract not renewed ,but in reality al davis fired him.

  • fat kidd

    Obama in 2012
    eight years of peace and prosperity

  • fat kidd

    2011-vikings refused new stadium in minn.moving to L.A.

  • Gust372

    # fat kidd Says:
    May 19th, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Jamarcus russell was cut,his contract not renewed ,but in reality al davis fired him.

    …………..

    lol. Ridiculous analogy.

  • Gust372

    I don’t know about the peace and prosperity, but Obama certainly wins in ’12 by default. With Palin as the republican front runner he won’t even have to campaign.

  • jhill

    Attention: Richard Seymour doesn’t want to play here! Unless he gets a record busting pay day.

    He ain’t worth a record setting payday at 31.

    Trade Seymour for Haynesworth straight up.

    ——————————————————

    So what if he doesn’t “want” to play here? I bet he “wants” a paycheck (see last year).

    Attention: Washington is looking for a 3-4 NT not a 3-4 DE.

  • jhill

    SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    May 19th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    jhill Says:
    May 19th, 2010 at 1:38 pm
    DHB is my new favorite player!

    I’m sending nothing but positive energy his way since my man RRS has JLH covered!

    If DHB can live up to his potential, makes the Chaz thing moot with Murphy and JLH stepping up.
    =====================================================
    You backed Terdell Sands in the same way.

    You keep cheering for these non-performers.

    Admire your patience

    ——————————————————-

    Hoping a guy on the team performs well should not be hard to do. Terdell Sands played well at one point for us and we certainly needed his fat arss to step his play back up. He’s the fat ass DT you’ve been begging for!

    As for DHB, expecting the guy to get 3 catches a game is not asking much. What do you want me to do, boo the guy?

  • Gust372

    Hill, why waste the roster spot on someone who doesn’t want to be here? Al Davisism at its worst. Throw an entire season away just to show one person on the team who’s boss.

  • Gust372

    “So what if he doesn’t “want” to play here?”

    So what? Are you serious? We have a weak link on the team, that’s what, when the object is to have 53 players with one goal in mind. Bottom line is get him out of here and deal with the contractual issues later. What other choice do you have? Setting precedent? Do the Oakland Raiders really have time right now? This is just getting old. It’s amazing how long Davis and his minions are willing to lose just to show up detractors. At what point does it become about winning on the field again? You guys are just a bizarre legion.

  • lefty12

    Jhill,some of us root for whoever wears the uniform.Some only seem to root for the guys they wanted drafted or signed.As much as I was down on a certain QB we had,I was always hoping he turned out ok because he wore the Silver and Black,just as I hope DHB turns into a very good WR(just a couple of examples)If say DHB were to get cut or traded,I could care less about him..

  • RaiderRetribution

    Mr. Seymour missed all of the raiders training camp and preseason and still was a dominant DL at the beginning of the season, especially vs. San Diego. He will be just fine. I do not care that he misses OTA’s or that he hasn’t signed yet. He will afterthe OTA’s are all over. Richard is a veteran, he is a professional, and he is always in shape. The rest will probably make him a stronger player longer into the season. He has never been one of those mushy lineman.
    Hell Brett hasn’t decided whether he’s going to play or retire yet either and trust me the Vikings organization is more concerned about that than when Seymour signs and reports.
    Remember as long as Richard doesn’t sign he can’t be fined.

  • priesttj

    Not worried about Seymour one bit. Not worried about Campbell one bit, except if he doesn’t get the help he needs to be successful Raider ans will turn on him.

    The Oline is paramount and the running game is key to his success or he will struggle……..period

    I am worried about DMC an DHB performing at an acceptable level. It’s not good at all when you have to depend on a 2nd year player (Murphy) as your go to guy but that’s where we are. I he can’t perform at a high level we’re in trouble. Not good…..not good at all.

  • LT DAN

    We need to trade for haynesworth and sign henderson that will shore up the dline and help out our rookie MLB. Haynesworth wants to get after the qb and thats what al likes. For the opposing qb to go down and go down hard.

  • LT DAN

    Why are we not after proctor og that the cowgirls cut lose it would give us depth and more competition